Summer 2000

Table of Contents


Unique Area Protected by Art Jury Deed Restrictions

In addition to following Rancho Palos Verdes development standards, residents who live on certain streets in the Miraleste area of our City must also comply with deed restrictions enforced by the Palos Verdes Homes Association. These unique circumstances date back to the 1920s when Miraleste was first developed and subject to the "Protective Restrictions" of the Palos Verdes Homes Association. These Protective Restrictions established the criteria for such things as architectural style and the type of roofing material to be used.

The Palos Verdes Homes Association is a California nonprofit corporation that is governed by a board of directors. This board appoints the members of the Art Jury which is presently made up of three architects, one planner and one layperson.

In 1939 when the City of Palos Verdes Estates was incorporated, the City took over the maintenance of roads, parkways and planted areas, however, the Homes Association retained jurisdiction over the Protective Restrictions. This raises the question of why the Miraleste area in the City of Rancho Palos Verdes is subject to restrictions established by the Palos Verdes Homes Association.

The short answer is that the original property owners in Miraleste were already subject to the Protective Restrictions and when the City of Palos Verdes Estates was formed, the Association retained jurisdiction over these restrictions in Palos Verdes Estates, and, at the time, in the unincorporated area of Miraleste.

In addition to determining standards of architectural style and design, the Protective Restrictions, or deed restrictions, also consider compatibility, site planning, building coverage, height, color and materials. They do not address the matter of maintaining views from any site.

For Miraleste residents considering making changes to the exterior of their home, the City of Rancho Palos Verdes has information on the process that must be followed to comply with the Palos Verdes Homes Association Art Jury restrictions. This information is available at City Hall in the Department of Building, Planning and Code Enforcement.


Take Your Pick: Live Music, Helicopter Rides or Hula-Hoop Contests

For the twenty-fifth year the City will be holding its Independence Day Celebration at the Civic Center located at 30940 Hawthorne Boulevard. This traditional family day starts at 11:00 a.m. with nonstop enjoyment until 5:00 p.m.

Bring your family and friends and listen to live music by Sweet Surrender and the Palos Verdes Symphonic Band. Shop in the expanded arts and crafts area and visit the midway, which will feature a variety of rides and games for all ages. For those seeking adventure, take a helicopter ride and get a bird’s-eye view of the celebration and the coastline.

If you like competition, join in the pie-eating and hula-hoop contests. For sheer entertainment, take in the Jim Gamble puppet show. Get to know more about your community by visiting the information booths sponsored by local civic organizations. Visit the petting zoo, ride one of the ponies, and watch the side-splitting dog acts and obedience demonstrations.

Admission to the celebration is free and so is the shuttle service from Ralph’s Market on Hawthorne at Crest and from the Golden Cove Center to the Civic Center. On-site parking is two dollars.

For the past several years, members of the City’s Recreation and Parks Committee have worked to reduce the City’s subsidy of this event by soliciting donations and merchandise. Several homeowner associations and area businesses have been long-time supporters. If you are interested in contributing to this community event call the Recreation & Parks Department at 544-5260.

For vendor or booth information and applications, call Conte Productions at (310) 781-2020, or for general information, call the Recreation and Parks Department at (310) 544-5260.


Focus is on Quality of Life Issues

At the Regional Law Enforcement Committee meeting held in May, Lt. Mike Grimaldi of the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department announced that the three Special Assignment Deputies (SAOs) who serve Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills Estates and Rolling Hills, have been reorganized. They are now part of a community resource team called the CORE Policing Team. Sgt. Bob Grandchamp, a twenty-seven year veteran of the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department, heads this team. The SAOs will now be known as Community Resource, or CORE Deputies.

While the basic mission of the deputies is unchanged, this reorganization is designed to emphasize their commitment to quality of life issues that are not easily addressed by regular patrol units. The CORE Policing Team concept gives these CORE Deputies more flexibility to direct their resources to specific issues over longer time periods, thus enhancing the police/community partnership that has been so successful.

Enforcement of State Fish & Game Laws

Lt. Grimaldi also announced that with the Region’s addition of a third deputy during Fiscal Year 1999-2000, their mission was expanded to include the area adjacent to and south of Crest Road. This area covers several parks, canyons, trails and the coastal area, including the marine reserve at Abalone Cove Beach Park. The CORE Deputies have attended training sponsored by the State of California Department of Fish and Game and are now deputized to enforce laws governing wild life and game on the Peninsula.


The Ultimate Goal is to Prevent any Type of School Campus Tragedy

In the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy, and at the direction of Sheriff Baca, the Peninsula Community Resource Deputies have spent over 500 man hours putting together a comprehensive set of safety plans for the 46 school campuses within the Lomita Sheriff’s Station jurisdiction.

These School Safety Plans are designed to operate in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Emergency Response plans in the event of a large-scale incident, or as stand-alone plans in the case of an incident confined to a school campus. They include contingencies for all types of emergencies: fires, earthquakes, hazardous material spills, bomb threats, terrorist incidents, and more.

Taken into consideration were specific evacuation routes, medical triage locations, parent information centers, media compounds, law enforcement, school administration liaison, tactical deployment, personnel and equipment staging areas, command posts, helicopter landing sites, topography, prevailing winds, and other classified areas.

Public/Private Partnership

In a public/private partnership, Airtouch Cellular has donated Audiovox wireless phones and free 911 service for the high schools. These cell phones are assigned to administrators and teachers to be used in any emergency. They are pre-programmed to dial directly into the local 911 system. This will help prevent the communication difficulties encountered by the Columbine dispatchers.

These Plans were coordinated with School and Fire Department administrators and has resulted in greater consistency between the Sheriff’s plans and the School District and Fire Department’s plans.

It goes without saying that the ultimate goal is to prevent any type of school campus tragedy; however, in the worst case scenario, these School Safety Plans will significantly contribute to a quick and effective response to a variety of school emergencies.


Funds Used To Repair Roofs and Fix Sewer Lines

With funds from the Community Development Block Grant program administered by the County of Los Angeles, Rancho Palos Verdes now has a Home Improvement Program for low and moderate-income residents. Since the start of this program last year, six projects have been completed and another ten are under construction.

Funds have been used to repair and replace roofing, heating and plumbing, and to repaint both the inside and outside of homes.

Applicants must be owner occupants of a single family detached dwelling and be City residents to be eligible. Grants of up to $5,000 are available to cover the cost or repairs. For any work over that amount, there are "no interest" loans of up to $10,000. These loans are payable upon the sale of the home or transfer of the title.

If your home needs improvements and repairs, this City program can help.

Income Qualification

Individuals with an annual income of less than $29,200 for a one-person household and $33,350 for a two-person household are eligible. For income limits on larger households, additional information or an application, contact Giovanni Arellano in the Public Works Department at (310) 544-5252.


Funds Pay for Median Improvement

The City has recently completed work on a project to beautify Palos Verdes Drive East at Crest Road. Landscape irrigation and hardscape improvements were constructed within the roadway medians. Total construction costs were $54,409 and the primary funding source was revenue from residents recycling bottles, cans and other items.


Report Graffiti Vandalism and Get a Reward

In just a few minutes graffiti vandals can deface street signs, park benches, fences and walls. If you witness anyone defacing public or private property, contact the Sheriff’s Department immediately.

As an incentive to curtail this graffiti, the City offers a reward of up to $250 for information leading to the determination, identification and apprehension of any person involved in this vandalism.

Although not a widespread problem in our City, graffiti happens often enough to be a nuisance and an expense for the City and for residents. Last year the City spent over $5,000 to eradicate graffiti from public property.

Help keep our City graffiti-free by reporting any graffiti activity you witness.


City and Land Conservancy Co-sponsor Nature Walks

If you want to learn about the Peninsula’s history, geology, wildlife, birds, and plants, the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy’s nature walks are just the thing for you. The City and the Land Conservancy are co-sponsoring a series of walks that will help you discover the unique features of the Peninsula. Here’s the line-up for the remainder of the year.

June 10, 9:00am

Lemonade Berry: This strenuous three-hour walk starts at Del Cerro Park and traverses the Lemonade Berry parcel that overlooks Portuguese Canyon, one of the major drainage channels for the south side of the Peninsula. Walk leaders will discuss the native coastal sage scrub and the history of the area. Participants should park at Del Cerro Park that is located at the south end of Crenshaw Boulevard.

September 9, 9:00am

Shoreline Park: This moderate walk crosses one of the few publicly owned parcels of coastal land in the South Bay and offers beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean as well as grasslands and coastal bluff scrub habitat. The walk includes a visit to the eastern part of the Ocean Trails Golf Course. Parking is on 25th Street just east of the San Pedro border.

November 11, 9:00am

RPV City Hall: This easy walk combines beautiful views with lectures on the habitat and the interesting military history of the area, including the Nike missile site and World War II bunkers. Parking is at RPV City Hall.

January 13, 2001, 9:00am

McBride Trail and Three Sisters: There are two options on this walk: the easy hour and a half walk that provides a panoramic view of the south side of the Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean. Then there’s the strenuous three-hour walk that provides similar views and, in addition, crosses the steep slope of the Portuguese Bend area. Parking is at the end of Highridge Road where it crosses Crest, on Ocean Terrace Drive.

All walks are free and reservations are not required. Participants should wear comfortable shoes with good traction, wear sun protection, and bring water. For more information call (310) 541-7613 or visit the Conservancy’s Internet Home Page at


RPV Participates in Program to Stem the Rise in Animals Impounded

Last November, Rancho Palos Verdes contributed $1,000 to the County’s new pet population control program called SAVE (Save-Adopt-Vaccinate-Educate). This program has three goals:

  • Increase adoptions by spaying and neutering all adopted animals at no cost to the adopter;
  • Reduce the euthanasia rates at County shelters; and
  • Increase adoption of altered animals from shelters rather than unaltered pets from "backyard" breeders.

Since this program began in February, pet adoptions have increased throughout Los Angeles County. In Rancho Palos Verdes alone, the number of impounded animals that have found new homes has increased by nearly 40% this year compared to the same period last year.

The SAVE program subsidizes the cost for spaying and neutering and has reduced the adoption cost to $27 per animal, regardless of age or gender. Prior to this program, adopting a pet from the County cost between $70 to $100. Most of that expense was for sterilization.

Funding for the SAVE program is entirely from donations and contributions from private citizens, animal welfare foundations and other agencies. If you would like to donate to the SAVE program contact Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control Department at 562-940-8871.


State Plans Major Improvements

This summer Caltrans is planning on doing major improvements to Western Avenue. The area to be improved extends from Avenida Aprenda in Rancho Palos Verdes to Sepulveda Boulevard in the City of Torrance. These improvements include pavement-resurfacing, construction of concrete bus pads, and restriping the traffic lanes.

Installation of New Bus Pads

In Rancho Palos Verdes bus pads will be constructed at Avenida Aprenda, John Montgomery Drive, Peninsula Verde Drive, Palos Verdes Drive North, and Leesdale Avenue. Bus pads will also be installed in the Cities of Los Angeles, Lomita and Torrance, all the way down to Sepulveda Boulevard.

During construction of these pads the curb lane at each location will be closed between10: 00 P.M. Friday and 5:00 A.M. Monday morning. Access to driveways, homes and businesses along the line of work will be maintained during the construction period. Information signs advising motorists of the pending closures and inconvenience will be posted at least two weeks prior to the start of work.

More Traffic Lanes

Under consideration is a request from the City of Los Angeles that Caltrans re-stripe Western Avenue to make three through lanes in each direction between 25th Street and Avenida Aprenda. The third lane would be located adjacent to the curb and would be available to motorist in the morning between 7:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. and in the afternoon between 3:00 P. M. and 7:00 P.M.

An alternative to this third traffic lane is placing a right turn only lane at selected intersections. Another striping alternative is to leave the existing two lanes and add a bicycle lane along the curb on both sides of Western Avenue. Each of these alternatives will be presented to interested residents and business owners in the Western Avenue corridor at a public hearing to be scheduled by the City of Los Angeles in the near future.

Caltrans has assured us that they will repair the dips in the pavement on Western Avenue in the northbound lanes just north of Park Western Avenue. As part of the planned repair, drainage improvements will also be made. This work is scheduled for 2001.


Proposed Project to Cap Contaminated Sediments

As part of an experimental project, late this summer the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will deposit about a million cubic yards of sand and silt to "cap" a small area of contaminated ocean floor near White’s Point. This is an experimental project that the EPA feels will protect human and marine life from the large deposits of pesticides that exist in the area.

Involving about a half million cubic yards of sand and silt, this cap will use sand dredged from outside the Long Beach Harbor, that will then be deposited on four 45-acres plots near the Los Angeles County Sanitation District sewer outfall pipe located at White’s Point.

This experiment will use varying thickness and different types of sand to determine what will make the most effective cap. If this $5 million project proves successful, the EPA will then consider capping the entire 17-square mile area between Point Vicente and Point Fermin.

From 1947 to 1982 wastewater containing high concentrations of pesticides, including DDT and PCBs, from the Montrose Chemical Corporation and other industrial sources were discharged into the sewers and subsequently to the ocean waters of the Palos Verdes Shelf. Although the discharge of DDT reportedly stopped in about 1971, the levels of these pesticides are still high and are found in the food chain organisms that live in the area. Bottom-feeding fish such as white croaker and water-column feeders such as kelp bass are typically more contaminated than other fish that live higher up in the water column.

According to the EPA, this cap can effectively eliminate the movement of contaminants into the marine food chain and prevent their accumulation in fish consumed by humans, marine mammals and birds. Existing contaminated fish will continue to pose ecological and human health risks, however, even after the cap is constructed.

The EPA is continuing to evaluate the available options and is proposing institutional controls to address potential health risks: 1) increase enforcement of the white croaker commercial fishing ban off the Palos Verdes Peninsula; 2) conduct public outreach to increase awareness of contaminated fish consumption and its risks; and 3) monitor contaminant concentrations in locally harvested fish sold for human consumption.

For nearly a decade, the Montrose Chemical Corporation and some other industrial companies have fought a federal lawsuit seeking $170 million in damages for the cleanup of the contaminated site. The case is anticipated to go to trial this fall. Rancho Palos Verdes is one of 150 Southern California municipalities that used the sewer system and has already made an out of court settlement in the matter.


Help the City Comply with the State mandate

Because the state is running out of landfill areas, all cities in California are mandated to reduce the waste they send to landfills by 50 percent. This mandate was imposed back in 1995 and this year RPV has to comply. The City can’t, however, unless residents change their habits and start separating green waste so it can be recycled.

Right now, over 30% of the City’s waste is green and only 15% of it is being recycled! Here’s you can help the City meet the 50 percent mandate:

  • Separate grass clippings, leaves, small branches, and shrubs and store them in the green waste container that was recently delivered to your home by the City’s waste hauler, Waste Management.
  • Instruct your gardener to separate all green waste and to use the green container.
  • If you use plastic bags for green waste, tie a green waste ribbon around the neck of the bag. This ribbon will identify it as green waste to your route driver.
  • Similarly, any other container used for green waste must be identified with the green waste ribbon
  • Starting this June, Waste Management’s green waste drivers will pick up the tagged bags and recycle them.
  • Large branches should be broken into small pieces and tied in bundles.
  • Do not contaminate green waste with ashes, dirt, concrete or fruits and vegetables.

Remember that green waste is picked up on the second collection day of the week.

For additional green containers, ribbons or tags, call Waste Management customer service at (310) 830-7100, or Public Works Department at (310) 544-5252.


Licensing and Rabies Vaccination Clinic

Scheduled for June 29th

All dog licenses must be renewed by June 30th..

The City’s annual dog licensing and rabies vaccination clinic will be held on June 29th from 7:00 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. at City Hall. County Animal Control officers will be on site to assist with dog license renewals or the purchase of new pet licenses.

The Southern California Veterinary Medical Association will be giving rabies vaccinations for $5 per dog. Dogs must be at least four months of age. The "six in one vaccination" that includes distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvovirus, will be available for $12 to dogs eight week or older.

Bring your pet’s certificate of sterility and proof of current rabies vaccination so you can be eligible for the reduced dog license fee.

For more information call City Hall at 544-5206.

Airplane Noise Update

South Bay Cities Form Task Force

As a result of the FAA disbanding the So. Calif. Task Force on aircraft noise, South Bay city officials have united and formed the South Bay Task Force. This group will serve as a venue for monitoring the progress by the FAA and Los Angeles World Airports on solving the aircraft noise problems. Representatives from the RPV City Council and PANIC (Peninsula Aircraft Noise Information/Safety Committee) are active participants in this task force.

The group is considering purchasing or leasing a radar system to track LAX aircraft flying over RPV as well as other beach cities. A demonstration of the system’s capabilities and tracking results is scheduled for sometime this summer. The task force hopes that this radar system will provide irrefutable evidence that LAX aircraft are not flying in compliance with flight standards.

Residents are welcome to attend the next South Bay Task Force meeting hosted by the City of Redondo Beach. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 21st during the evening hours. Call Redondo Beach City Hall at 372-1171 or RPV City Hall at 544-5206 for more information.

If you have experienced excessive aircraft noise, report your complaint to the FAA at 310-725-3638 and LAX at 310-646-6473.

Newsletter Editor: Jo Purcell
Contributing writers: Lauren Ramezani, Dennis McLean, Gina Park, Joi Anderson, Phyllis Butts, Nancie Silver, Jan Neth, Marla Doyle, Dean Allison, and Jo Purcell.